There are many preprint servers for the health and life sciences where you can submit your own preprint, and access and comment on published preprints. Uploaded content undergoes a basic screening for appropriateness, plagiarism, and health or security risks before being publicly posted. Most sites assign DOIs (a unique digital object identifier) to each preprint, and some sites allow updated versions to be uploaded.
If you are planning to upload a preprint for a manuscript that will also be submitted for publication, see Which Journals and Funders Allow Preprints?
- arXiv (physics, math, computer science, quantitative biology, statistics) arXiv was the first preprint server and has over 1.5 million preprints. Started in 1991 and hosted by Cornell University. Pronounced "archive", and the inspiration for the naming of several subsequent servers.
- bioRxiv (biological sciences). Began operations in 2013, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The largest server in its field, bioRxiv links from preprint to published articles and integrates with selected journal submission systems.
- medRxiv (health sciences). Launched June 2019, founded by Cold Spring Harbor Lab, Yale University and BMJ, and hosted by CSHL. Includes subject areas for Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacology, and Physical Therapy.
- OSF Preprints (multiple disciplines). Open source platform from the Center for Open Science for dozens of disciplinary preprint servers. Includes an integrated search interface across major preprint servers.
- PeerJ PrePrints (medicine, biology, computer science). Preprints from the open access publisher PeerJ.
- Preprints.org (multiple disciplines). Preprints in all STEM fields as well as social sciences, arts, and humanities. Produced by the open access publisher MDPI.
- PsyArXiv (psychological sciences). Maintained by the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science. Uses OSF Preprints infrastructure.
- Research Square (multiple disciplines). Preprints made available through partner publishers such as Springer Nature and Cambridge University Press.
- SocArXiv (social sciences). Part of the University of Maryland and directed by a steering committee of social scientists and research library community members. Uses OSF Preprints infrastructure.
- SSRN's Medical Research Network (MedRN). Accepted and working papers in numerous medical subject areas. Includes submissions to The Lancet journals. Owned by Elsevier.
Use the following resources to search preprints from multiple sources:
- Dimensions Analytics database includes preprints from multiple sources. After running a search, filter results by Publication Type -> Preprint. Log in with your UCSF account to access paid subscription features.
- Google Scholar includes preprint servers in its search results, but does not identify them as such. Next to a citation look for known preprint servers, e.g. "[PDF] medrxiv.org" or "[HTML] biorxiv.org". Or, below the citation, click on "all x versions" and scan the resulting list for a preprint server URL.
- Preprint Archive Search from OSF – searches over 2 million preprints from arXiv, bioRxiv, OSF Preprints and its partners, PeerJ Preprints, and Preprints.org.
- PubMed and PubMed Central include preprints of NIH-funded research results published as of 1 January 2023 in: bioRxiv, medRxiv, arXiv, and Research Square. Prior to 2023, only preprints related to COVID-19 were included. Find out more about this pilot.
- Preprint results are automatically included in searches. See PubMed and PMC instructions for limiting results to preprints or omitting preprints from searches.
- search.bioPreprint from University of Pittsburgh - sources include Open Research Africa, bioRxiv, ChemRxiv, medRxiv, F1000Research, PeerJ Preprints, Preprints.org, and Wellcome Open Research.
- Web of Science's Preprint Citation Index (UCSF subscription) - includes preprints from arXiv, bioRxiv, medRxiv, chemRxiv, and preprints.org. Provides links to published articles indexed in WoS Core Collection. Select Preprint Citation Index from the "Search in" pull-down menu on the search screen.
Visit our Getting Published page for more information or to connect with a scholarly communication expert.